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Suede - 'Night Thoughts' (Album Review)

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 Written by Graeme Marsh

“We needed to make a Suede record,” Brett Anderson mused in an interview with Under The Radar around the release of the band’s surprise comeback album, ‘Bloodsports’, in 2013, revealing that long-term producer Ed Buller had persuaded them to ditch plans to rip up their established template.

Arriving 20 years after their assured self-titled debut, just how good it was also came as something of a shock. At the time, Anderson hoped to “get a couple more great albums under our belts” before disbanding for good. ‘Night Thoughts’ is their first attempt at achieving his goal.

Unveiled at London’s Roundhouse late last year, it sees Suede tackle the concept album and the shows proved to be a revelation. For the first half, the band performed the collection in its entirety from behind a screen, on to which a tragic, compelling story of suicide, death and murder was projected.

Each track bleeds seamlessly into another in an attempt to push the listener towards recreating the same experience from start to finish, and the sense of total devastation captured by the film permeates throughout.

The opener, When You Are Young, finds tribal drums, synths, a striking guitar riff and the new addition of strings creating a scene-setting, foreboding atmosphere. The brilliant Outsiders then appears, carried by a mesmerising guitar line, akin to Placebo, a perfect bridge and stunning, anthemic chorus. These elements combine to produce something that’s not only a contender for the best Suede track ever penned, but also a classic in waiting.

What follows is captivating. No Tomorrow, What I’m Trying To Tell You and Like Kids will have fans revelling in familiar, fuzzy guitar-drenched pop structures that recall ‘Dog Man Star’ and the single-laden ‘Coming Up’.

But the real surprise comes in the manner that they’ve turned their hand to something new so far into their career. The stunningly gentle Pale Snow portrays the despair of the overall theme dramatically, as does the equally emotionally charged Tightrope, with its soaring hook and orchestration. I Don’t Know How To Reach You is another sublime moment, where dazzling guitar work and sorrowful lyrics create more theatre. The Fur And The Feathers ensures ‘Night Thoughts’ concludes in fittingly epic fashion.

This is no stereotypical Suede album. It is so much more and, possibly, their best. On this sensational evidence, Anderson may find that demand for more albums will outweigh any thoughts of retiring the band.

Suede Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Mon February 08 2016 - GLASGOW Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Tue February 09 2016 - MANCHESTER Albert Hall
Wed February 10 2016 - DUBLIN Olympia
Fri February 12 2016 - LONDON O2 Forum Kentish Town
Sun February 14 2016 - LEEDS O2 Academy Leeds

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